Description of the subsystem and how it works
Explanation of how the sphere is linked to others
The atmosphere is a thin blanket of gases that surround the earth. It transport heat and water and filters out deadly ultraviolet radiation. Furthermore the atmosphere is always on the move. When the atmosphere moves, it evens out differences in temperature between the chilly poles and warm equator. Warm air moves towards the poles and cold air towards the equator. Mainly Nitrogen, Oxygen as well as argon, carbon dioxide, helium and neon.
The atmosphere links with all other subsystems to influence the climate, trigger geological processes and affect life all over the earth.
It is the solid outer part of the earth which includes the brittle upper portion of the mantle and the crust, the outermost layers of Earth’s structure. The elasticity and ductility depends on temperature, stress and the curvature of the earth. Two types of lithosphere: Oceanic, Continental which are associated with the corresponding plates. The lithosphere is broken up into 15 major tectonic plates and most of the tectonic activity takes place on the boundary of these plates. The movement of tectonic plates is made possible the thermal energy from the mantle part of the lithosphere. The thermal energy makes the rocks of the lithosphere more elastic.
All the spheres interact to influence diverse elements like ocean salinity, biodiversity and landscape. The pedosphere is part of the lithosphere made of soil and dirt. The pedosphere is created by the interaction of all 5 subsystems. Enormous hard rocks of the lithosphere can be grounded to powder by the powerful movement of a glacier (cryosphere). It also interacts with atmosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere to influence temperature differences on earth. For example: the mountain range of the lithosphere is interacting with the lower air pressure of the atmosphere and the snowy precipitation of the hydrosphere.
The biosphere is the layer of the planet Earth where life exists. This layer ranges from heights of up to 10km above sea level. Energy, provided as sun light, is captured by plants, some bacteria and protists, in photosynthesis. The captured energy transfer carbon dioxide into organic compounds such as sugars and produces oxygen.
The biosphere limits to the atmosphere as the atmosphere creates the environment in which all life exists and also the others which affect the geological processes. The oxygen is used for respiration.
Hydrosphere is the total amount of water on the planet which includes water on the surface of the planet, underground and in the air in the form of vapour, liquid or ice. Water moves in a cycle as it collects in the clouds before falling to the earth in the form of rain or snow. Then it collects in rivers, lakes and oceans before evaporating into the atmosphere and starting the cycle over again.
The geosphere (lithosphere and atmosphere) and hydrosphere are closely linked. When there is a change in the atmosphere it results in their being a change in the lithosphere. The hydrosphere links with atmosphere, lithosphere and biosphere which is collectively known as the water cycle. The frozen part of the hydrosphere is known as the cryosphere.
The cryosphere is the frozen water part of the Earth system. There are places on Earth that are so cold that water is frozen solid. These areas of snow or ice compose the cryosphere. Ice and snow on land are one part of the cryosphere. This includes the largest parts of the cryosphere, the continental ice sheets found in Greenland and Antarctica, as well as ice caps, glaciers, and areas of snow and permafrost. When continental ice flows out from land and to the sea surface, we get shelf ice.
The other part of the cryosphere is ice that is found in water. This includes frozen parts of the ocean, such as waters surrounding Antarctica and the Arctic. It also includes frozen rivers and lakes, which mainly occur in polar areas. The components of the cryosphere play an important role in the Earth’s climate. Snow and ice reflect heat from the sun, helping to regulate our planet’s temperature. Because polar regions are some of the most sensitive to climate shifts, the cryosphere may be one of the first places where scientists are able to identify global changes in climate.
The cryosphere is tied to the other parts of the Earth system: Because snow and ice are light in colour, they reflect more of the Sun’s energy back into space. When snow and ice melt, darker ocean and land are exposed. The darker colours absorb and then radiate more of the Sun’s energy, warming the atmosphere. When ice and snow melt, the water becomes part of the hydrosphere. For example, in the state of Washington in the western United States, melting snow and glaciers during summer provide 470 billion gallons of water each summer. The amount of snow and ice that melts each summer is increasing because of global warming.
Glaciers and ice sheets shape the land surface. They erode rocks of the geosphere as the ice moves slowly across the land and then the eroded sediments are deposited in other places. In the tundra ecosystem, soils stiff with ice, called permafrost, sequester greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.